Boomkat Product Review:
After self-releasing a couple of albums and putting in a whole heap of hard work, Portland, Oregon's Blitzen Trapper finally scored themselves a deal with Sub Pop earlier on this year. The first full-length to stem from that arrangement is this glorious wreckage of a record. 'Devils A-Go-Go' is like a horribly out of time fusion of Royal Trux, Calexico and Love As Laughter, all jumbled up in a spectacularly calamitous three minutes. And it could hardly be more awesome. It's exactly the right balance between out of control rock & roll primitivism and legitimately accomplished riffing, which even throws a lo-fi mariachi breakdown into the bargain. The title track is even better, setting up and knocking down some major league pop hooks, whilst retaining a certain shambolic grace. 'Miss Spiritual Tramp' strays a tad wide of the mark for a bar or two of its mid-section, summoning up a few stylised hillbilly vibes, but you can forgive the band that relatively minor indiscretion given how inventive they sound throughout Pavement-meets-Kiss goodtime rocker 'Murder Babe', or the beautifully executed 'Country Caravan', which would be a straight-up Nashville joint were it not for the lo-fi recording aesthetic. As with the rest of this fine album, the song isn't lo-fi as a contrivance but simply because it's a DIY job, and the band's teeth rattling sound far transcends whatever humble bedroom origins it might have. An enormously impressive way to open your Sub Pop account, Wild Mountain Nation might just be one of the unexpected highlights of the indie rock year.